Fresh from our screening of Brash Young Turks, we spoke to the charismatic director, Naeem Mahmood to get the scoop on what drives and motivates him.
Big Picture Film Club: What got you into filmmaking?
Naeem: I grew up in West London and in my teens I got involved in street crime. I found school uninspiring and a waste of time. I’d bunk off and make short films with my brother using a battered home video camera, recruiting actors from the local neighborhood. That was my escape.
BPFC: How did the idea for Brash Young Turks come about?
Naeem: I saw a lot of poor films coming out of the UK with the same old faces, stereotypes, and cliches. Either pointless films about the monarch or the rugrat that never ventures beyond the council estate. I wanted to make a film with a lot more ambition, swagger, style, and substance. One in which it’s young protagonists, who are from the wrong side of the tracks, aim high and are not afraid to break out of the box and carve out their own identities, hook or by crook.
BPFC: Describe the filmmaking process for Brash Young Turks?
Naeem: It was like going to war! I set my sights high despite the limited budget and lack of resources. I didn’t want to make a film set in a room with a couple of actors, I wanted to create a world, portray London in an almost fantastical light. This meant having to hustle in order to get the glamorous locations, stylish costumes, fast cars etc.
BPFC: How has the feedback been for Brash Young Turks?
Naeem: People have never seen a film like this in the UK. There’s been a lot of talk about the bold “hyper-sensory” nature of the film, the larger than life characters and bright colours. Audiences have found it refreshing to see a British film that follows it’s own path and doesn’t conform to any stereotypes.
BPFC: What advice do you have for budding filmmakers?
Naeem: Stay focused in a world of distractions. Distractions are the enemy of your creative talent. Eliminate them.
BPFC: What’s next for Trailblazer films?
Naeem: We’re gonna amp things up with a hyper-stylized, raucous crime thriller entitled ‘Us.’ It’s time to raise the levels!
Big Picture Film Club would like to thank Naeem Mahmood, the cast of Brash Young Turks and Julian Glover for giving a wonderful Q&A at our last event.
Follow Brash Young Turks twitter: @BrashYoungTurks
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